The second meeting on the softball diamond this season between Pella Christian and Pella High was one to be remembered, as the Lady Eagles scored the only runs of the ball game late in the game to win 2-0. The first run on the scoreboard came courtesy of an RBI single from Ashley Van Kooten, whose rip between first and second base sent Heather Van Sant toward home for a very close play at the plate. Pella Christian co-Head Coach Kevin Van Wyk said he couldn’t get a good look at the play, but was pleased with Van Sant’s effort to score.
“I was 60-70 feet away and I trust the umpire made the right call,” said Van Wyk. “He was right on top of it; Heather made a beautiful hook-slide, and he said it wasn’t even close, so I’m going to believe him.”
An error on an outfield fly two batters later allowed Van Kooten to score the final run of the game. For the most part, though, the game was a pitcher’s dual between two of the conference’s best hurlers in Mandy DeMeulenaere of Pella and Pella Christian’s Paige Blom. Lady Dutch Head Coach Krista DeMeulenaere said her team wasn’t as strong at the plate as she’d have liked for them to be, but also gave Blom credit for a good performance.
“We weren’t real disciplined at the plate today like we were the first time [we played], although we did draw six walks,” said DeMeulenaere. “We swung at some pitches outside of the zone, which helped Paige [Blom] out quite a bit. But that is Paige’s forte; that is what makes Paige good – she gets batters to swing at pitches that aren’t strikes, and she does that well.”
In the loss, Mandy DeMeulenaere gave up just four hits and struck out four batters with no walks; while Blom tallied twelve strikeouts and allowed just two hits, but also gave up six walks. Pella Christian moved to the top of the Little Hawkeye Conference standings with a 10-2 mark, while Pella falls to 7-3 in the league. The Lady Dutch have another big conference game tonight as they host Knoxville, while the Lady Eagles are on the road at Grinnell.